Acoustic Control Corporation


Acoustic Control Corporation

Acoustic Control Corporation was a manufacturer of instrument amplifiers, founded by Steve Marks (with the help of his father) and based in Van Nuys, California. Its original location was a shack on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles, California.

Most of the amplifiers produced by ACC were solid-state, but a few models later in production were valve amps. The company is remembered in particular for its Acoustic 361 bass stack, consisting of an Acoustic 360 bass pre-amplifier and one or two Acoustic 361 W-bins, each featuring a built-in 200-watt RMS power amplifier and a rear-facing 18" Cerwin-Vega loudspeaker. Acoustic also produced the "Black Widow" electric guitar and electric bass 1972 - 1975. The guitars and basses were based on designs used by Paul Barth for his Bartell guitars and basses. The majority of the guitars were built in Japan although Semi Moseley (of Mosrite fame) claims of building the last 200 guitars made. One prolific user associated with this guitar was jazz guitarist Larry Coryell who had an endorsement deal. Jimmy Nolen of James Brown's band was also a "Black Widow" user.
Robbie Krieger of The Doors was the most high-profile early user of the Acoustic 260 head and 261 cabinet--the first models ever produced by ACC. Krieger's Acoustic amps were a major public-relations boost for the fledgling company. Albert King and Chuck Berry also used the 260 and 261. Canadian guitar virtuoso Frank Marino used 270 model amplifier as did Frank Zappa and Ernie Isley. Pat Metheny created his famous guitar tone partly by using Acoustic 134 model combo amplifier. Some prominent bassists who played through Acoustic amps included Jaco Pastorius, probably the most famous user of Acoustic bass amplifier, and John Paul Jones (Led Zeppelin), Carl Radle (Derek & the Dominoes), Ric Grech (Blind Faith), John McVie (Fleetwood Mac), Tony Stevens (Savoy Brown, Foghat), Peter "Overend" Watts of Mott the Hoople, Danny Sheridan ( [http://www.eliradishband.com Eli Radish Band / David Alan Coe] ) and Kirk Powers (American Tears), the latter using an Acoustic 371(combination of the 370 amp & 301 bass cabinet). The Mahavishnu Orchestra members (bass, keyboards, violin excluding John McLaughlin (gtr)) used Acoustic amplifiers. Verden Allen, organist with Mott the Hoople used a 260 head amp.

Excellent reliability and balance when being moved around on tour.

Acoustic Control Corporation went out of business in the 1980s, then returned under the name True Tone Audio as a manufacturer of P.A. amplifiers.

Latter-day employee and designer Steve Rabe went on to establish specialist bass amplifier manufacturer SWR (now owned by Fender Musical Instruments Corporation) in 1984, then Raven Labs in 1998.

Acoustic has come back in 2007 under the name Acoustic Amplification with the models: B20 and AB50. They currently have new models out on their new website.

External links

* [http://acousticamplification.com]
* [http://acoustic.control.free.fr Unofficial European Home Page (French)]
* [http://www.vguitar.com/brands/details.asp?ID=101 Black Widow Guitar]
* [http://www.acousticblackwidow.com Black Widow guitar/bass fansite]
* [http://www.acousticcontrolcorporation.com/index.htm Home Page]
* [http://acoustic.homeunix.net Unofficial Home Page]
*Harmony Central|path = Guitar/Data/Acoustic_Control_Corporation/
* [http://usguitars.ronsound.com Black Widow fansite]


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